Lion cubs learn how to swim

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Lion cubs learn how to swim

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Washington:  Before these four lion cubs were allowed to roam free in their den at the Washington zoo,  they had to pass a swimming test.

The keepers wanted to ensure they are be able to swim  because, when they move to the outdoor enclosure in December, they'll find themselves surrounded by a moat that is 10 feet deep.

Wearing wet suits, the lion keepers guided each 18-pound, eight-week-old cub into the moat surrounding their den.

According to the zoo, all four cubs - three females and one male - passed the test with flying colours, managing to perform a passable Lion paddle.

The cubs swam under the expert guidance of the zoo's curator, Craig Saffoe, and two keepers -  Rebecca Stites and Kristen Clark.

The lions will be released into the den after their rabies shots. The litter is the first for 4-year-old Shera, who is an excellent mother, according to the zoo.

The cubs are expected to stay at the National Zoo for the next 2 years , before moving to other zoos to participate in conservation breeding programs.

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